Metfield Village Hall
Metfield Village Hall is operated as a charity (No.304796) registered in the UK with the Charity Commission. The hall is administered and run entirely by volunteers comprising seven trustees and a management committee which handles the day to day running of the hall as well as organising various fund raising events including the annual Village Fete.
Metfield Village Hall was first constituted in February 1934 as a deed of trust declared by local residents, Rev. Walter Guthrie Bower, Frederick Brown, James William Burgess, Ralph George Eastaugh, Hetty Maud Fisher, John Sydney Godbold, Thomas Edwin Godbold, Albert Horatio Nelson, William Christmas Pleasants and William George Sadd.
The simple, wooden building served as the centre of village life for almost 60 years until it was replaced in the early 1990s by a new village hall funded entirely by donations and a mortgage taken out by the Village Hall. Responsibility for the mortgage was subsequently taken over and gradually paid off by the Metfield Parish Council. Some 10 years later the new hall was partially destroyed by fire but was rebuilt to its original specification.
In 2012 after the local public house closed the Hall Committee took the far-sighted decision to initiate a project to enhance and reconfigure the village hall to serve as a more flexible and useful community hub for the benefit of all residents of Metfield and the surrounding area.
With planning permission in place for the ambitious addition of a bar and two lounges and the conversion of the old inadequate kitchen to a commercially equipped facility a two-year, three-stage application process was pursued to acquire a capital grant for the project from the Big Lottery Fund.
This culminated in February 2016 with the award of grant by the Big Lottery Fund of £291,024. Building work began on 22nd August 2016 by contractor Draper & Nichols, and was completed six months later on 24th February 2017.
A grant for additional capital funding totalling £23,203 was secured from Mid Suffolk District Council. This enabled various improvements and capital equipment purchases which were outside of the scope of the Big Lottery grant. A further £2,000 grant was awarded by Suffolk County Council from its Localities Budget for the purchase of equipment for the bar or kitchen.
The fully refurbished and extended Village Hall was officially opened on 11thMarch 2017 by local residents Mrs Prue Peskett and Mr Geoffrey Buggs. As a boy in the 1930s, Metfield-born Geoffrey regularly attended events in the original village hall.
To support the launch of the new Hall, the residents of Metfield through a “Build-a-Brick” fund raising exercise generously donated a total of £3,440 part of which funded the development of this website by the IT team at Community Action Suffolk. The balance went towards initial critical operating costs of the new Village Hall facilities including payments of insurance premiums, fuel and other utility bills. The Build-a-Brick” donations provided vital operating funds at a time when the Village Hall finances were very stretched. The high cost of the building work and the absence of any bookings income during the previous eight months while the hall was closed for reconstruction meant all Village Hall contingency savings had been drawn down in contributions towards the extension project.